Home Diet How To Overcome The Side Effects Of A Low-Carb Diet (Atkins Diet)

How To Overcome The Side Effects Of A Low-Carb Diet (Atkins Diet)

How to Overcome the Side Effects of a Low-Carb Diet (Atkins Diet)
How to Overcome the Side Effects of a Low-Carb Diet (Atkins Diet)

The popular Atkins Diet is a low-carbohydrate eating plan that was developed back in the 1960s by Robert C. Atkins. He was a cardiologist. The Atkins Diet or eating plan was after he realized that most of his patients were struggling with obesity.

Very many people are looking for ways they can successfully reduce weight. Some are using weight loss pills, others are exercising, and many people are limiting their macronutrient intake. Unfortunately, when you may successfully reduce weight using various ways, some will impact your wellbeing negatively.

According to the Atkins diet, limiting refined carbs in your diet will help your body start burning fats instead of carbs. You substitute carbohydrates with fats and proteins. Many people have successively reduced weight using this approach, but some experience several side effects.

According to many low-carb diet plan advocates, carbohydrates are the root of many health problems. What many people who are on low-carb diets don’t know is that carbs play an essential role in their bodies. Limiting your carbohydrates intake has got several side effects. Here are some of the common Atkins diet side effects

Common Side Effects Of The Atkins Diet.

1. Severe Headaches.

Severe headaches
Severe headaches

Lack of enough carbs in your diet causes your blood glucose level to drop. Many people on the low-carb diet experience extreme headaches daily in the beginning weeks. The severity of the headache increases until your body adjusts to the new changes.


Increasing your water and mineral intake will help you get relieved from the unending headaches. Slightly increasing your carbohydrate intake will also help.

2. Ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates and is burning fats to get energy. In the first few weeks of your diet changes, you will experience some of the following symptoms of ketosis:

  • nausea
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • confusion
  • and difficulty in focusing

Ketosis also triggers frequent urination that causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalance that worsen the above symptoms.


Increase your water and mineral consumption to fix dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Adding a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and drinking the solution after every thirty minutes will help relieve severe headaches and nausea.

3. Fatigue.


Carbs are the primary source of energy in our bodies. You can survive without them, but you will suffer from both muscle weakness and fatigue.


Reduce your physical activities, if you’re exercising, consider reducing the intensity to reduce stress on your body. If your endocrine system is malfunctioning, consider eating healthy carbs to increase the level of GABA (calming) hormone and reduce the level of stress hormone. Getting enough sleep will also help reduce fatigue.

4. Heart Palpitations.

Lack of enough blood glucose might make your heart pound, flatter, or seem to have added or skipped a beat. Heart palpitations occur when your heart is beating harder and faster in response to the low blood glucose level and the dehydration state. Excretion of extra stress hormones to the blood may also result in heart palpitations.


Slightly increase your carbohydrates intake to avoid ketosis and hypoglycemia. Drinking slightly-salted fluids will also help alleviate this side effect.

5. Leg Cramps.

Leg cramps
Leg cramps

The frequent urination when your body is in ketosis makes you lose minerals such as magnesium. Lack of enough magnesium in the body and dehydration increases the chances for a leg cramp.


Add a little salt in your drinking water to replace the magnesium your body is losing. Eating magnesium-rich food such as leafy greens, almonds, peanuts, edamame, dark, and quinoa will help. You can also consider taking magnesium tablets.

6. Temporary Hair Loss.

Temporary hair loss
Temporary hair loss

Atkins diet and other low-carb diets put your body in a starvation mode. A temporary hair loss is one of the many symptoms of this mode. It kicks in three months after you adapt your new diet. Temporary hair loss can also be due to:

  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • physical and physiological stress
  • Change in hormone levels
  • Extreme physical exertion
  • Changes in diet


Eat healthy food that is rich in omega-3 fats, proteins, and vitamins. Drinking more water and regularly massaging your scalp will prevent temporary hair loss.

7. High Cholesterol Levels.

The frequent urination associated with low-carb diets lowers your blood volume hence elevating the cholesterol levels. The Atkins diet recommends a high intake of fats and proteins, which makes the condition worse. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Consider intermittent fasting to reduce cholesterol fluctuations. Only eat when you are hungry. Avoid unhealthy fast foods. Drink plenty of water to prevent your blood volume from lowering.


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